Cameron Parish Deputy hailed as hero after he and several others rescue children at Mae’s Beach
JOHNSON BAYOU, La. (KPLC) - Memorial Day at Mae’s Beach could have turned deadly without the quick thinking of a Cameron Parish Deputy and several bystanders.
“My initial reaction was obviously sort of panic mode, but then it turned into ‘we gotta get out there and help them’,” Deputy Cody Wellsted said he was on duty at Mae’s Beach on Monday when a man came running towards him. “I could see he had a panicked look on his face. So I put it in drive and pulled up to the edge of the beach and spoke to Miss Sasson, that’s the mother, and she said the two children were out in the water, drowning, and asking for help.”
Wellsted says several people jumped into the water to save the 13-year-old boy and 10 year-old-girl.
“I turned and saw there were four people in the water at the time,” Wellsted said. “To my left was the 13-year-old. He was out about 75 yards and in the water heading towards him was his stepmother. On the right-hand side a 10-year-old girl and already in the water towards her was a Mr. Alex Brumback. Alex was going to get there way before me, he was a little bit closer, I asked him if he was going to be able to get to her. He gave me a thumbs up so I turned and starting heading towards the 13-year-old and I got there around the same time the stepmom did. All three of us were fairly fatigued at the time. We got him to calm down though, lay on his back, and were able to get him back in. After I had gotten back to the shore I actually learned that two other people had entered the water. Corey and Rebecca Harmon. Miss Rebecca had grabbed a floatie to Alex to get back to shore. While she was out there, she actually got fatigued herself, and Mr. Corey was able to get out there and help her, and everybody made it back in safely.”
Both children were evaluated by medics to make sure they were OK once everyone got back to shore.
“It was a very good outcome of what could have been a very bad circumstance," Wellsted said. "I’m glad it turned out the way it did and I want to thank everyone involved because it definitely wasn’t just me out there.”
One of those who jumped into the water, Corey Harmon, posted what happened to Facebook saying, quote, ‘Deputy Wellsted didn’t hesitate to jump into that water to save that child’ and that in his opinion ‘the type of person who reacts to help someone, regardless of putting themselves at risk, is the definition of a hero.’
But Wellsted says he can’t take all the credit and wants to make sure everyone who helped save those kids is recognized.
“I personally don’t have a Facebook, but I was able to go and read every single reply," Wellsted said. "I want to thank everyone for their support and everybody that was involved, thank them, especially because like I said, it wasn’t just me out there.”
Cameron Parish Sheriff Ron Johnson said everyone involved in the rescue will receive a life-saving medal.
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